Architecture

Dwell's new Seattle houses let you Live/Work the dream

Dwell's new Seattle houses let...
Dwell says that the Live/Work units "offer an alternative to traditional mixed-use spaces and the opportunity to live more sustainably"
Dwell says that the Live/Work units "offer an alternative to traditional mixed-use spaces and the opportunity to live more sustainably"
View 26 Images
Dwell says that the Live/Work units "offer an alternative to traditional mixed-use spaces and the opportunity to live more sustainably"
1/26
Dwell says that the Live/Work units "offer an alternative to traditional mixed-use spaces and the opportunity to live more sustainably"
There are two Live/Work units in total, each covering an area of 2,700 sq ft (251 sq m)
2/26
There are two Live/Work units in total, each covering an area of 2,700 sq ft (251 sq m)
The ground floor is designed for use as the personal home office, or, alternatively, for retail
3/26
The ground floor is designed for use as the personal home office, or, alternatively, for retail
The location is pedestrian-friendly and close to parks, shopping and dining destinations, meaning it is accessible for visitors
4/26
The location is pedestrian-friendly and close to parks, shopping and dining destinations, meaning it is accessible for visitors
There is a large street-front door to provide access to the office / retail space
5/26
There is a large street-front door to provide access to the office / retail space
The ground floor space could be rented out to a commercial tenant as a source of income
6/26
The ground floor space could be rented out to a commercial tenant as a source of income
The ground floor office / retail space is large and open-plan
7/26
The ground floor office / retail space is large and open-plan
The ground floor office / retail space is large and open-plan
8/26
The ground floor office / retail space is large and open-plan
The ground-floor space has an adjoining toilet and space for storage
9/26
The ground-floor space has an adjoining toilet and space for storage
There is over 700 sq ft (65 sq m) of commercial space
10/26
There is over 700 sq ft (65 sq m) of commercial space
The house features reclaimed wooden flooring, with countertops and tiling made from recycled content, and locally-sourced cabinetry
11/26
The house features reclaimed wooden flooring, with countertops and tiling made from recycled content, and locally-sourced cabinetry
Reclaimed, repurposed and sustainable building materials are used wherever possible
12/26
Reclaimed, repurposed and sustainable building materials are used wherever possible
There are open-plan kitchen and living areas
13/26
There are open-plan kitchen and living areas
The Live/Work houses are constructed to Built Green specifications
14/26
The Live/Work houses are constructed to Built Green specifications
The buildings feature heat recovery ventilation systems
15/26
The buildings feature heat recovery ventilation systems
The buildings feature triple glazed windows
16/26
The buildings feature triple glazed windows
The buildings feature weather-resistant barrier systems
17/26
The buildings feature weather-resistant barrier systems
The buildings feature tankless water heaters
18/26
The buildings feature tankless water heaters
There are outside decking areas for residents to enjoy good weather
19/26
There are outside decking areas for residents to enjoy good weather
There are three living floors in each house above the commercial ground floor
20/26
There are three living floors in each house above the commercial ground floor
Each house has three bedrooms
21/26
Each house has three bedrooms
The Built Green standard followed takes into account the use of materials, energy efficiency, water use and indoor air quality
22/26
The Built Green standard followed takes into account the use of materials, energy efficiency, water use and indoor air quality
Some of the bedrooms have access to decking areas
23/26
Some of the bedrooms have access to decking areas
There are two-and-a-half bathrooms in each house
24/26
There are two-and-a-half bathrooms in each house
Large windows let natural light into some of the bathrooms
25/26
Large windows let natural light into some of the bathrooms
The main bathrooms provide plenty of space
26/26
The main bathrooms provide plenty of space
View gallery - 26 images

Lots of people have a home office, but few homes are designed to be literally part office. Dwell Developments' new Live/Work homes in Seattle, however, are exactly that home-office hybrid. They're aimed at improving the lifestyles and environmental footprints of their residents.

Dwell says that the Live/Work units "offer an alternative to traditional mixed-use spaces and the opportunity to live more sustainably." Not only can residents choose to work from home, eliminating time spent on the daily commute and its environmental impact, but, like other Dwell homes, they are constructed to Built Green specifications.

Built Green is an environmental construction standard that takes into account the use of materials, energy efficiency, water use and indoor air quality. Its ratings range from 3-Star through 4-Star and 5-Star up to Emerald Star. Dwell says the Live/Work houses are built to 5-Star level.

Among the features that contribute to this are weather-resistant barrier systems, triple-glazed windows, heat recovery ventilation systems and tankless water heaters. Reclaimed, repurposed and sustainable building materials are used where possible, including reclaimed wooden flooring along with countertops and tiling made from recycled content, and locally-sourced cabinetry.

The ground floor office / retail space is large and open-plan
The ground floor office / retail space is large and open-plan

In addition to these features, the roofing is "solar ready." This means that solar panels can be easily fitted, which, Dwell says, would make the houses net zero energy consumers. Elsewhere, there are conduits for charging electric vehicles.

There are two Live/Work units in total, each covering an area of 2,700 sq ft (251 sq m). The ground floor is designed for use as the personal home office, or, alternatively, for retail. The location, in the Admiral District of Seattle, is pedestrian-friendly and close to parks, shopping and dining destinations, meaning it is accessible for visitors. A final option would be to rent the ground floor space out to a commercial tenant as a source of income.

There are three additional living floors in each house. Each has three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and off-street parking. There are also open-plan kitchen and living areas, as well as outside decking areas where residents can enjoy good weather.

The Live/Work homes broke ground in June 2014 and were completed last month.

Source: Dwell Developments

View gallery - 26 images
6 comments
Chizzy
modern version of the shop house. combine a town of these with on demand production, and micro factories and you can kiss the box stores goodbye.
Paul van Dinther
I own a property exactly like that. Build in 2004. Even here in Auckland they are unique. Only 12 have been build in one street. A 3 storey building.

It is a perfect blend of work and living. My commercial space is about 112 square meters devided in warehouse / workshop space with 4 meter height ceilings and office / retail space. Above two floors of living space with a three big bedrooms.

All kinds of small businesses operate here. I no longer needed the space so I leased out the commercial area. I just can not understand why not more of these are built.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
A lot of small shops used to be like this. Most professional jobs are many miles from affordable housing. Restaurants next to housing eliminate drunk driving.
mystixa
These type of living arrangement ARE neat, useful, and comonly built in the Northwest. Builders love to advertise these places as live work because it gets them city and state benefits in Oregon and Washington.
Live work places of various forms including ones that look almost exactly like those pictured above have been around in the Portland Seattle area for 10 years+ that I know of specifically. The problem isn't availability its in the financing of them.
After leaving a small business that we had been running for several years we decided that moving on to a live work replacement would be ideal. We searched for years in Portland/Seattle for such places and found several, but never one that quite matched our needs.
Finally after finding one we discovered that such a house does not qualify for a normal home loan, no matter what your credit qualifications. You are required to use a commercial loan. This small technical change increases the required downpayment to the range of 40-50% instead of 5-10% for a standard home loan.
If you're not independently wealthy and ready to drop 150k for a downpayment, forget about it. Lets not forget that this is before you even get started with remodelling, purchasing, and installing any of your gear for the work portion of the house.
Great concept. Failed so far in implementation for any basic small business in the traditional sense.
CAVUMark
Green refrigeration? I am baffled by the size of some of these new refrigerators, washers and dryers. My wife and I eat mostly unprocessed food (food that you can recognize with ingredients that you can pronounce). We have a 18 cubic foot refrigerator of which 1/2 is used, we throw out one garbage bag of trash per week from the kitchen. Why invest in such a monster?
JSSFB
These were the normal in the early 1950's, it worked then and will work now, it seems that most things go full circle